MLB Trade Rumors » » Oakland Athletics 2017-09-25T03:35:24Z Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Athletics Could Try Franklin Barreto In Center Field]]> 2017-09-22T23:19:24Z 2017-09-21T18:58:42Z
  • As the Athletics sort through their young position-player options, Joe Stiglich of CSN Bay Area writes, the club could consider giving Franklin Barreto some time in center field. Oakland seems to have a rather wide-open situation up the middle in the outfield grass. In the infield, though, there are several options at second base — including veteran Jed Lowrie, assuming he isn’t traded (and that his option is picked up, as appears likely). Stiglich runs through some other options; while there are a few internal players that may warrant consideration, it’s also conceivable that the team could use the opening to try an outside acquisition. (As I noted recently, Oakland could have a chance to take advantage of some outfield gluts in other organizations.) Regardless, as regards the 21-year-old Barreto, the key consideration is likely whether the team feels he’s best served taking on major league pitching or going back to Triple-A to iron out his strikeout issues.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Three Needs: Oakland Athletics]]> 2017-09-19T19:00:12Z 2017-09-19T17:36:13Z This is the latest edition in MLBTR’s Three Needs series. Click to read entries on the BravesTigersRedsPiratesGiantsMets, and Blue Jays.

    Oakland entered the 2017 season with a plan to compete, but there was always an alternative course available. With some intriguing young players pushing for MLB time and a few quality veterans on short-term deals, the A’s pivoted to a youth-first strategy over the summer. That shapes the club’s needs entering the offseason.

    1. Make a call on Jed Lowrie.

    The one obvious veteran trade chip that wasn’t moved this summer was Lowrie, who is controllable next year by way of a $6MM club option ($1MM buyout). It seems all but a foregone conclusion that the option will be picked up; Lowrie has rewarded the A’s faith in his ability by slashing .276/.358/.450 over 597 plate appearances this year. The question remains, though, where he’ll play.

    If he stays in Oakland, Lowrie would surely retain a hold on regular second base duties, at least to open the season. That would mean less infield time for Chad Pinder as well as a return to the upper minors for Franklin Barreto (who could certainly stand to continue working on reducing his swings), recent acquisition Jorge Mateo (who has yet to reach Triple-A), and Joey Wendle (who came over in the Brandon Moss deal).

    While there’s an avenue to keeping Lowrie around, at least until next summer’s trade deadline, it’s fair to wonder whether the A’s ought instead to cut the cord. The veteran infielder is a versatile asset, with the ability to hit from both sides of the plate and plenty of experience up the middle, so he ought to draw real interest. Even if he won’t command a huge return, the A’s might reasonably expect to get something intriguing back while also opening the door wide open for the younger options to sink or swim.

    Either way, it would likely behoove the A’s to make this call fairly early on. Lowrie might hold more appeal at the outset of free agency, when he’d represent a cheaper alternative for teams considering open-market veterans. And if he’s going to go off the books, the A’s would be well-served to have a full offseason to pursue interesting ways of utilizing the extra roster spot.

    But he’s not the only possible trade piece. The team also ought to …

    2. Dangle Khris Davis.

    There’s less of a rush here, but the A’s ought to push to get a read on Davis’s market even as competitors weigh moves for slugging free agents. Davis is closing in on a second-straight forty-dinger campaign, which’ll boost his current $5MM arbitration salary yet higher in his final two years of control. Still, he’ll cost a pittance compared to, say, J.D. Martinez.

    While Davis doesn’t have that kind of bat, and has graded terribly on defense this year, he has produced offense at more than twenty percent above league average in each of the past three campaigns in spite of his contact problems. The case of Chris Carter shows that teams won’t go wild for a player with this profile, though Mark Trumbo did score $37.5MM over three years from the Orioles last winter.

    Oakland would likely be better off sending Davis on to another organization while his value is at a relative high-point. With so many young players looking to find their way in the majors, it would take quite a few good breaks for this roster to spring into contention in the next two years. Continuing to employ Davis, especially at his skyrocketing rate of pay, doesn’t seem to serve the team’s long-term interests.

    That’s especially true since there may be an opportunity to …

    3. Take advantage of other teams’ outfield surpluses.

    The A’s already have young players lined up all over the roster. Few are sure things, but the club will want to get extended looks at its most intriguing assets in the infield and rotation. That’s even true to some extent in the bullpen, where the club has a few interesting pitchers and can also stash those hurlers that don’t crack the starting five. While the pitching remains a long-term concern, there isn’t exactly a ton of room to add new arms; as importantly, other clubs won’t be anxious to allow the A’s to get ahold of their most interesting youngsters.

    It’s a somewhat different situation in the outfield, though. There, veterans — the aforementioned Davis, Matt Joyce, and Rajai Davis — have seen the most extensive time this year. And there are only a few younger players — Pinder, Boog Powell, Jaycob Brugman, Mark Canha — that seem to be plausible options to roam the major-league grass for the A’s in 2018. Meanwhile, quite a few other clubs could face difficult choices with their own outfield situations. The Cardinals and Brewers have perhaps the most notable forthcoming surpluses, but it’s possible to imagine some intriguing outfield talent shaking loose from a fair number of other organizations as well as they seek to manage 40-man roster pressure and improve their chances at contention.

    The A’s can afford to have patience that other teams can’t. Acquiring some new outfield talent for little cost — through minor trades, claims, the Rule 5 draft, and other means — would create an opportunity for the team to capture the upside of low-service-time talent. The A’s came into 2017 paying at least $5MM apiece to three outfielders (the Davises and Joyce) along with a host of other players (Lowrie, Trevor Plouffe, and a few relievers). For 2018, the club should keep the money in its pocket and see if it can find a few diamonds in the rough for the outfield.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Latest On A's Ballpark Bid]]> 2017-09-19T19:40:47Z 2017-09-19T15:59:35Z While the Athletics still face an uncertain path to finally landing a new ballpark, the club’s announcement of a target site has gained some support from the business community, Kimberly Veklerov of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. It certainly seems as if there’s some public relations jockeying going on as the ballclub attempts to ramp up its efforts. As Veklerov notes, some of the initial political response was less than fully supportive. And as the Chronicle further reports, there may be some environmental concerns with the site under consideration.

    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Jed Lowrie Wants To Return To A's]]> 2017-09-16T18:03:51Z 2017-09-16T18:03:51Z
  • The Athletics have a $6MM option or a $1M buyout on Jed Lowrie’s services for 2018, and Lowrie says he hopes the A’s retain him. “I love playing here,” he says. “I think being here surrounded by the good young players we have has been fun. So I hope to stay here, but you never know.” It would be eyebrow-raising, to say the least, if the A’s declined Lowrie’s option — he’s batting .276/.358/.444 this season. He could, however, be a trade candidate as the team attempts to find space for youngster Franklin Barreto.
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    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Jenkins: Athletics Could Have Bright Future]]> 2017-09-16T16:14:45Z 2017-09-16T16:13:59Z
  • The Athletics’ new ballpark won’t open for several more years at a minimum, but the team’s future that far down the horizon could still be very bright, Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. The team has a solid young core that includes Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, Franklin Barreto, Marcus Semien, Chad Pinder and Ryon Healy, along with prospects like A.J. Puk, Jorge Mateo, Dustin Fowler, Austin Beck and Lazaro Armenteros. Of course, it’s far from clear which of those players will be keys for the A’s five-plus years down the line — in fact, some of them, like Semien, could well depart via free agency by then. But Jenkins points out that, unlike with the nearby Giants, it’s already possible to imagine good future Athletics lineups based around the players they already have.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[2017 Rule 5 Roundup]]> 2017-09-14T16:14:45Z 2017-09-14T14:15:17Z With just a few weeks left in the season, we have a pretty clear idea of which Rule 5 draft picks will stick with their drafting teams. At this point, having already carried the player this far and with expanded rosters easing any pressures, teams are quite likely to stay the course. Here’s how this season’s Rule 5 group has shaken out thus far:


    It isn’t official yet, but these

    • Miguel Diaz, RHP, kept by Padres (via Twins) from Brewers: As part of the Pads’ unusually bold Rule 5 strategy, the club kept three youngsters this year. Diaz, 22, has managed only a 6.21 ERA with a 31:22 K/BB ratio over 37 2/3 innings. But he is showing a 96 mph heater and will remain with the organization, quite likely heading back to the minors next season to continue his development.
    • Luis Torrens, C, kept by Padres (via Reds) from Yankees: The youthful backstop — he’s just 21 — has struggled badly on offense in limited action. Through 133 plate appearances, he’s slashing just.169/.246/.212 — with just four extra-base hits, none of them home runs.
    • Allen Cordoba, INF, kept by Padres from Cardinals: And then there’s Cordoba, who’s also just 21 years of age. He faded after a hot start at the plate, but on the whole his output — a .209/.284/.304 batting line and four home runs over 215 plate appearances — is fairly impressive given that he had never before played above Rookie ball.
    • Dylan Covey, RHP, kept by White Sox from Athletics: Technically, owing to a DL stint, Covey has only compiled 83 of the minimum 90 days of active roster time required to be kept. But he’s going to make it there before the season is up, meaning that the Sox will be able to hold onto his rights and option him back to the minors in 2018. Covey, 26, has struggled to a 7.90 ERA with 4.9 K/9 against 4.4 BB/9 over 54 2/3 innings, allowing 18 long balls in that span.
    • Stuart Turner, C, kept by Reds from Twins: Turner has seen minimal action, appearing in just 33 games and taking only 77 trips to the plate. And he’s hitting just .141/.184/.268 in that sporadic action. Clearly, though, the Reds have seen enough to believe he’s worth the trouble to hang onto.

    Still In Limbo

    • Kevin Gadea, RHP, selected by Rays from Mariners: Gadea has not pitched at any level this year owing to an elbow injury. He’ll remain with the Tampa Bay organization for the time being, but will still need to be carried on the 40-man roster over the offseason and then on the active roster for at least ninety days for his rights to permanently transfer.
    • Armando Rivero, RHP, selected by Braves from Cubs: It’s the exact same situation for Rivero as for Gadea, though he has had shoulder problems.
    • Josh Rutledge, INF, selected by Red Sox from Rockies: This was not your typical Rule 5 move. Boston snagged the veteran infielder after he signed a minors deal with Colorado. He ended up seeing minimal MLB time owing to injuries and his season ended recently with hip surgery. Rutledge is eligible for arbitration this fall and isn’t likely to be kept on the 40-man roster regardless.
    • Anthony Santander, OF, selected by Orioles from Indians: Since he only made it off of the DL late in the summer, Santander can accrue only 45 days on the active roster. If Baltimore wants to keep him, then, it’ll need to put him on the Opening Day roster next year. Santander has seen minimal playing time thus far, recording two hits in twelve trips to the plate, though he put up impressive numbers on his rehab assignment.

    Kept By Other Means

    • Daniel Stumpf, LHP, signed with Tigers after electing free agency upon return to Royals: This is another unusual situation. As a previous Rule 5 returnee, Stumpf was eligible to elect free agency upon being returned to his original organization. That’s just what happened when Detroit sent him back to Kansas City; the southpaw then turned around and re-signed a MLB deal with the Tigers. He has ended up turning in a rather productive year, posting 32 1/3 innings of 2.78 ERA ball with 8.6 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 at the major-league level and showing even more impressive numbers during his time at Triple-A.

    Already Returned

    • Tyler Jones, RHP, returned to Yankees by Diamondbacks: Jones has thrown rather well at Triple-A since going back to the New York organization, posting 10.7 K/9 against 2.8 BB/9 in 63 2/3 innings, though he has also allowed 4.38 earned per nine.
    • Caleb Smith, LHP, returned to Yankees by Brewers: Smith ended up earning a 40-man roster spot and spending some time in the majors after showing quite well as a starter in the minors. But he has been knocked around in his 18 2/3 MLB frames on the year.
    • Justin Haley, RHP, returned to Red Sox by Twins (via Angels): The 26-year-old didn’t stick with Minnesota, allowing a dozen earned runs in 18 innings before being returned to Boston. But he has thrown well since landing back at Triple-A Pawtucket, posting a 2.66 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 44 innings over seven starts.
    • Tyler Webb, LHP, returned to Yankees by Pirates: Webb also gained a 40-man spot with the Yankees after showing some intriguing K/BB numbers at Triple-A. He was ultimately dealt to the Brewers.
    • Aneury Tavarez, OF, returned to Red Sox by Orioles: Tavarez played his way back up to Triple-A upon his return to his former organization, but has hit just .244/.292/.400 in 145 plate appearances there.
    • Glenn Sparkman, RHP, returned to Royals by Blue Jays: Sparkman was bombed in his one MLB appearance and has been limited to just 30 1/3 minor-league frames due to injury.
    • Hoby Milner, LHP, returned to Phillies by Indians: Another player who has risen to the majors with the organization that originally let them leave via the Rule 5, Milner has turned in 24 1/3 frames of 1.85 ERA ball in Philadelphia. Of course, he has also managed just 15 strikeouts against ten walks in that span.
    • Mike Hauschild, RHP, returned to Astros by Rangers: The 27-year-old righty struggled badly in his eight MLB frames. Upon returning to the rotation for Houston’s top affiliate, Hauschild has uncharacteristically struggled with free passes (5.3 per nine).
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Athletics Identify Preferred Ballpark Site In Oakland]]> 2017-09-13T14:47:21Z 2017-09-13T13:39:37Z The Athletics’ search for a new ballpark has gone on now for years and taken many twists and turns. It’s far from over, but as Phil Matier and Andy Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle report, the club has now settled on a preferred location for a new park that would keep the club in Oakland.

    A’s president Dave Kaval has penned a letter to the Peralta Community College District expressing interest in building on a parcel of land in the vicinity of Oakland’s Laney College, per the report. Working out an agreement with the landowner is just one of many steps that would be required, of course, with massive infrastructure and permitting needs among the major hurdles to be cleared.

    The A’s intend to utilize private financing to construct the ballpark, which is expected to cost something in the range of $500MM. Kaval emphasized that the preferred site had advantages in securing the needed investment against the other sites that had been considered, including potential for nearby mixed-use development. You’ll certainly want to read the full reporting from Matier and Ross to understand the considerations at play and remaining obstacles.

    Kaval also hinted at some real optimism despite the long road ahead. “Finally, we’ve got our site,” he said, suggesting that the team sees this as a key step. Even if things go well, though, the report makes clear that construction won’t begin until at least 2021, with the still-hypothetical new stadium potentially ready for games in the 2023 season.

    The stakes are high for the A’s, who have been searching for years for an avenue to a new ballpark and now face a phase-out of MLB revenue sharing. While the Coliseum has become something of a lovable dump, it is ill-equipped to maximize revenues. (Of course, it also became a possible site for a new park once the NFL’s Raiders left town; instead, the A’s propose turning it into a community sports park that might host an urban youth baseball academy.)

    Many other organizations with less compelling needs have reaped huge financial windfalls through taxpayer-funded parks built through efforts that lacked many of the complications present here. While the A’s figure to seek quite a bit of public assistance for infrastructure projects, the team won’t be able to call upon public money or significant political streamlining to accomplish this complex undertaking.


    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Matt Olson Performing Well For Athletics Following Alonso's Departure]]> 2017-09-11T01:20:14Z 2017-09-11T01:20:14Z
  • The Athletics installed Matt Olson at first base after dealing Yonder Alonso to Seattle last month and have gotten great results so far, as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes. Olson has 17 homers in just 47 big-league games so far this year. The lefty-swinging Olson’s performance so far has suggested he doesn’t need much platoon help, either — three of his homers have come against lefties, including one today against Houston’s Tony Sipp. Olson was a former first-round pick and top prospect whose star faded somewhat after a mediocre 2016 with Triple-A Nashville, but after strong performances in both Nasvhille and Oakland this year, he appears to be very much back on the map. “Olson looks like the real deal,” says a rival scout, via Slusser. “I’ve been impressed with how he’s gotten on some pitches in the upper zone.”
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[A's Select Raul Alcantara, Place Paul Blackburn On 60-Day DL]]> 2017-09-06T04:33:45Z 2017-09-05T23:00:55Z
  • Right-hander Raul Alcantara is back with the Athletics, who have selected his contract and opened a 40-man spot by placing righty Paul Blackburn on the 60-day disabled list. Alcantara was outrighted after clearing waivers earlier this year, and he responded to his 40-man removal by posting a solid 2.67 ERA in 33 2/3 Triple-A frames (albeit with just 5.9 K/9 against a more impressive 1.9 BB/9 mark). Blackburn left a start in late August after being struck in the hand by a line drive, and while he’s only been diagnosed with a contusion, his season is over with that placement on the 60-day DL. He missed fewer bats than just about any pitcher in the league but still managed a 3.22 ERA in 58 2/3 innings with the A’s in his debut campaign.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Examining Billy Beane's Legacy]]> 2017-08-27T00:40:33Z 2017-08-27T00:38:55Z With Athletics executive vice president Billy Beane in his 20th year atop the team’s baseball department, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle takes an interesting look at his legacy. Beane’s best known as the subject of the 2003 book “Moneyball,” which has made the executive an iconic figure in business circles, Slusser writes. The author, Michael Lewis, told Slusser that Beane “made it cool to bring science into player evaluation, and because of that, every businessperson in America wants to meet him.” Lewis’ book followed the 2002 A’s, who won 103 games and were part of a run that included four straight playoff berths and eight consecutive seasons of at least 87 victories for the franchise. The low-payroll A’s haven’t been nearly that successful in recent years (they’ll finish well below .500 for the third season in a row in 2017), in part because of the trade that sent third baseman Josh Donaldson to Toronto in 2014. Beane offered an unenthusiastic review of the move to Slusser, saying: “In hindsight, that was certainly questionable — and I’m being kind to myself. There were a number of reasons why, and Josh was a good player who became a great player — but when you make as many transactions as we do, some are going to be good and some are not going to be good.”

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Red Sox Acquire Rajai Davis]]> 2017-08-24T00:01:08Z 2017-08-23T23:36:28Z The Red Sox have struck a deal to acquire fleet-footed outfielder Rajai Davis from the Athletics, the teams announced on Tuesday night. Minor league outfielder Rafael Rincones is going back to the A’s in exchange, and Boston has designated first baseman/outfielder Steve Selsky to clear a 40-man roster spot. Davis had previously ranked eighth on MLBTR’s most recent list of the top August trade candidates.

    Rajai Davis | Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY SportsThe 36-year-old Davis had a slow first half to the season but has been on fire since the All-Star break, hitting .303/.361/.487 with three homers and 11 steals (in 13 attempts). Overall, he’s stolen 26 bases in 32 attempts. Davis will give Boston a huge boost in terms of speed in the season’s final month as well as in the postseason — both times when clubs are more likely to carry pinch-running specialists.

    Of course, Davis’ second-half production and his respectable .255/.319/.396 slash against left-handed pitching illustrate that he brings far more to the table than just his wheels. He’ll also give the Sox a veteran outfield option capable of playing all three spots while Jackie Bradley sits out for the next week-plus due to a sprained thumb.

    Davis brings to the Red Sox a history of speed and performing well against left-handed pitching. The veteran outfielder has five seasons of 40-plus steals under his belt, including a 43-steal campaign in 2016 that paced the American League. He’s also a career .285/.341/.434 hitter when holding the platoon advantage; His most memorable hit against a lefty provided one of the most dramatic moments in recent postseason history, when he took Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman deep in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series.

    Davis signed a one-year deal worth $6MM to return to Oakland for his second stint with the A’s this past offseason, and he’s still owed the balance of that salary — a sum of approximately $1.28MM.

    Rincones turned 18 on July 1 and has spent the first two seasons of his professional career playing for the Red Sox’ affiliate in the Dominican Summer League. Through 380 plate appearances, the switch-hitting Rincones has batted .267/.386/.368 with a pair of homers, 18 doubles, four triples and 14 steals (in 19 attempts).

    Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic had both previously reported that the Red Sox were nearing a trade or waiver claim, and Rosenthal added that Selsky had been designated for assignment. CSN New England’s Evan Drellich first reported that Davis was going to Boston (on Twitter). Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweeted that it was a trade, not a waiver claim, and she was also the first to report that the A’s were acquiring Rincones (Twitter link).

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Athletics May Retain Jed Lowrie]]> 2017-08-23T13:49:20Z 2017-08-22T16:45:42Z It seems increasingly plausible that the Athletics may not only keep second baseman Jed Lowrie for the remainder of the season, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle suggests, but also for the 2018 campaign. It seems a foregone conclusion that the club will exercise the veteran’s $6MM club option, though he could still be traded over the winter. Assuming that Lowrie remains in Oakland when the calendar flips to September, the focus will turn to assessing the desirability of retaining him as opposed to turning the reins over to youngster Franklin Barreto. Slusser notes that, despite the team’s general youth movement, there’s a feeling that Barreto could stand to receive a fair bit more developmental time at Triple-A before he is fully exposed to MLB pitching.

    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Athletics Outright Zach Neal]]> 2017-08-19T21:31:55Z 2017-08-19T19:07:39Z
  • The Athletics have outrighted righty Zach Neal, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. The A’s designated Neal on Wednesday when they added lefty Sam Moll to their roster. The 28-year-old Neal struggled in 14 2/3 innings with the big club, posting a 7.98 ERA and five home runs allowed, albeit with ten strikeouts and just one walk. He has pitched 74 innings this year for Triple-A Nashville (including making 12 starts), with a 4.99 ERA and just 4.3 K/9, although with a very good 1.0 BB/9.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Bobby Wahl Undergoes Thoracic Outlet Surgery]]> 2017-08-16T22:45:38Z 2017-08-16T22:45:38Z
  • The Athletics announced yesterday that right-hander Bobby Wahl’s season is over after he underwent surgery to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome. TOS surgery has become increasingly popular in recent seasons, though the success rate on it doesn’t appear to be as high as other common surgeries for pitchers. The 25-year-old Wahl posted terrific numbers in Double-A and Triple-A last season, and he made his big league debut with Oakland earlier in 2017. In 7 2/3 frames, he allowed four runs on eight hits and four walks with eight strikeouts.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Athletics Designate Zach Neal]]> 2017-08-16T19:57:34Z 2017-08-16T19:50:21Z The Athletics have designated righty Zach Neal for assignment, according to’s Jane Lee (via Twitter). Presumably, the move was made to open a 40-man spot for the just-added Sam Moll.

    Neal, 28, has functioned as an optionable swingman for Oakland over the past two years, with an unusual blend of elite control and (at least in the minors) a demonstrated ability to induce infield pop-ups. He was outrighted last year, but added back to the 40-man when he was called up earlier in 2017.

    All said, Neal owns a 4.89 ERA through 84 2/3 MLB innings, with just 37 strikeouts to go with only 7 walks. He has struggled in the upper minors, too, with only a 4.99 ERA and 4.3 K/9 against 1.0 BB/9 over 74 frames.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Athletics Acquire Sam Moll]]> 2017-08-16T20:05:48Z 2017-08-16T17:02:27Z The Athletics have acquired lefty Sam Moll from the Rockies, per an announcement from the Colorado organization. Cash considerations or a player to be named later will make up the return for Moll, who had been designated for assignment recently.

    Moll, a 2013 third-rounder, showed enough to earn a 40-man spot but had yet to receive a major league promotion. He carries a 4.18 ERA over 47 1/3 innings on the year at Triple-A, with 7.4 K/9 against 3.4 BB/9 along with a healthy 50.3% groundball rate.

    Those numbers don’t tell the full story on Moll, who was generally regarded as one of the organization’s top thirty or better prospects entering the season. He brings mid-nineties heat from the left side with a slider and even a change that can be effective at times.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Athletics Acquire Chris Hatcher]]> 2017-08-15T23:59:24Z 2017-08-15T22:33:59Z The Athletics announced that they’ve acquired right-hander Chris Hatcher from the Dodgers in exchange for $500K in international bonus money. Hatcher’s roster spot will go to infielder/outfielder Rob Segedin, who has been activated from the 60-day disabled list, the Dodgers announced.

    Chris Hatcher | Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsThe 32-year-old Hatcher has struggled in each of the past two seasons with the Dodgers. However, the converted catcher had success in 2014-15 and also comes with some peripheral stats that are more promising than the 5.12 ERA he’s posted since Opening Day 2016.

    Since last season began, Hatcher has averaged 10.1 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9 with a fastball that has averaged 95.2 miles per hour. That velocity is down in 2017, as is his ground-ball rate, but Hatcher has also improved his control after an uncharacteristic 4.7 BB/9 rate in 2016.

    Hatcher won’t cost the Athletics much, as Oakland is one of several teams that is prohibited from spending more than $300K on any single international amateur after drastically exceeding its pool last year (or the year prior). He’ll give the A’s a reliever with a fair bit of late-inning experience that can be controlled cheaply through the 2019 season. Hatcher avoided arbitration last winter by agreeing to a one-year, $1.25MM contract and will be eligible for arbitration once again in each of the next two offseasons before reaching free agency in 2019-20.

    The Dodgers likely deemed Hatcher expendable not only due to his struggles but also due to the manner in which right-hander Brandon Morrow has stepped up and enjoyed a rebound campaign in Los Angeles (2.70 ERA, 11.1 K/9, 2.0 BB/9 in 26 2/3 innings). The Dodgers also deepened their bullpen at the trade deadline by acquiring lefties Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani — further crowding a bullpen mix in which Hatcher proved to be the odd man out.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Melvin: Chapman, Olson Are Corner Infielders Of Future]]> 2017-08-14T16:58:17Z 2017-08-14T16:55:26Z
  • Athletics manager Bob Melvin said today in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM that Matt Olson and Matt Chapman are “definitely” the team’s corner infielders of the future (audio link via Twitter). The skipper exuded confidence in the duo’s defensive abilities, though each has also shown promise at the plate in his first extended look in the Majors. Olson is hitting just .211 but has a 10 percent walk rate and seven homers through his first 80 plate appearances. He’ll need to improve on his 36 percent strikeout clip, though his 24 percent mark in Triple-A offers some optimism in that regard. Chapman, meanwhile, is hitting a similar .228/.305/.507 with eight homers and a 9.7 percent walk rate through 154 plate appearances. He’s regarded as a superlative defender and has posted an outrageous +12 Defensive Runs Saved in just 351 innings.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Revisiting Sonny Gray Talks Between A's, Brewers]]> 2017-08-12T23:38:20Z 2017-08-12T23:36:11Z
  • Contrary to a report last month, the Brewers’ unwillingness to part with high-end outfield prospect Lewis Brinson did not kill their chances of landing righty Sonny Gray from the Athletics, according to Rosenthal. The A’s would have accepted a package of other prospects from the Brewers’ talented farm system, relays Rosenthal, but the two sides still couldn’t work out a deal leading up to July 31. Oakland ultimately sent Gray to the Yankees for a trio of prospects on deadline day, officially ending any chance of the Brewers acquiring him.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[A's Outright Ryan Lavarnway]]> 2017-08-09T02:59:03Z 2017-08-09T02:59:03Z
  • The Athletics announced that catcher Ryan Lavarnway has cleared waivers and been sent outright to Triple-A Nashville after being designated for assignment. The 30-year-old veteran has showed nicely in a tiny sample of 13 PAs with Oakland this season and has also posted a solid .262/.346/.385 slash through 255 PAs with the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Nashville. He’s been outrighted on multiple occasions in the past, giving him the option to reject the assignment in favor of free agency if he chooses. Lavarnway, though, has already accepted one outright from the A’s earlier this season.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Kelvin Herrera, Gregory Polanco, Alex Colome & Francisco Cervelli Move To Wasserman]]> 2017-08-08T17:32:53Z 2017-08-08T17:32:53Z Six players have elected to change their agencies, following agent Rafa Nieves in his recent move from Beverly Hills Sports Council to the Wasserman Media Group, according to’s Jerry Crasnick (Twitter links).

    Among the veterans making the change are a pair of closers — the Royals’ Kelvin Herrera and Alex Colome of the Rays — as well as two Pirates players, outfielder Gregory Polanco and catcher Francisco Cervelli. Two less-experienced players — each of whom has a 40-man spot but is currently at Triple-A — will also move: Athletics righty Frankie Montas and Nationals catcher Pedro Severino.

    Of these players, it seems that Herrera’s situation is most interesting. The 27-year-old will be eligible for free agency one final time over the winter. He’s earning $5.325MM currently and will look to build upon that figure before hitting the open market.

    Herrera’s case will be an interesting one to track, as he has slipped to a 4.19 ERA this year but has also already posted 43 strikeouts and has served as Kansas City’s full-time closer. With 24 saves in the bank — double last year’s tally — Herrera should be well-positioned to argue for a hefty raise, especially if he can drive down the earned run average before the end of the season.

    Also slated for arbitration is Colome, who’ll go through the process for the first time. He, too, hasn’t been quite as dominant this year as he was last. But he’ll bring a loaded resume to the table with 37 saves in the bank from last year and a league-leading 33 added already in 2017. As things stand, Colome has a career 3.16 ERA and has also accumulated more innings than a typical closer (256 2/3) since he also has 19 MLB starts on his ledger.

    As for the two Bucs regulars, they’re playing under long-term contracts. Polanco is under team control all the way through 2023, while Cervelli is locked up through 2019 under the extension he signed last year. Both Montas and Severino have seen the majors on multiple occasions, but neither has accumulated significant service time to date. The pair of 24-year-old Dominicans are still a fair ways away from possible arbitration eligibility.

    As always, you can find the most up-to-date agency information in MLBTR’s database.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mariners Acquire Yonder Alonso]]> 2017-08-06T22:42:27Z 2017-08-06T17:07:52Z The Mariners have acquired first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Athletics in exchange for minor league outfielder Boog Powell, per an announcement from Seattle. The M’s claimed Alonso off waivers prior to working out a deal with the American League West rival A’s, reports Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network (on Twitter).

    Yonder Alonso[RELATED: Updated Mariners & A’s Depth Charts]

    The 30-year-old Alonso has enjoyed a breakout season, but as an impending free agent on a rebuilding team, the expectation was that Oakland would move the $4MM slugger this summer. The A’s were unable to find a trade to their liking for Alonso before this past Monday’s non-waiver deadline, however, thanks in part to a lack of leaguewide demand at first base.

    The playoff-contending Mariners have gotten little production from the position this year, though, with their first base options having combined for a woeful batting line (.246/.305/.385) and the majors’ third-worst fWAR (minus-0.8). Despite that shoddy production, Seattle holds a 56-55 record and sits just 1.5 games out of a wild-card position.

    Seattle’s primary first baseman has been Danny Valencia, whose overall output hasn’t been great. However, the right-handed hitter has feasted on southpaw pitchers (.297/.368/.505), which could set up a formidable platoon consisting of him and the lefty-swinging Alonso. Buoyed by a newly adopted fly ball-first approach, Alonso has slashed an excellent .266/.369/.527 with 22 home runs in 371 plate appearances this year. Almost all of that damage has come off righties, against whom Alonso has batted .287/.393/.559 in 254 trips to the plate.

    To land Alonso, the Mariners gave up the 24-year-old Powell, who got his first taste of big league action earlier this season and hit .194/.310/.194 over nine games and 43 PAs. He owns a far better .340/.416/.490 line in 239 Triple-A PAs this year, and has slashed a lifetime .288/.365/.402 at that level. Powell actually entered the professional ranks as the Athletics’ 20th-round pick back in 2012. They ended up sending him, John Jaso and Daniel Robertson to the Rays in a 2015 deal that netted the A’s Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[MLB Suspends Matt Joyce Two Games For Anti-Gay Slur ]]> 2017-08-06T03:29:06Z 2017-08-06T03:27:27Z Major League Baseball announced Saturday that it has suspended Athletics outfielder Matt Joyce two games without pay for directing an anti-gay slur at a heckling fan during the team’s game in Anaheim on Friday. In response, the A’s stated they’re “very disappointed” by Joyce’s “unacceptable” comments, but they “appreciate that Matt is contrite about his conduct and know he will learn from this incident.”

    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Athletics Designate Ryan Lavarnway For Assignment]]> 2017-08-05T18:32:36Z 2017-08-05T18:32:36Z The Athletics have added the Dustin Garneau to their active roster and designated fellow catcher Ryan Lavarnway for assignment, Joe Stiglich of NBC Sports California tweets. The A’s claimed Garneau from the Rockies yesterday.

    The A’s signed Lavarnway to a minor-league deal last offseason and have now added him to their roster and designated him twice. He’s spent the bulk of the year at Triple-A Nashville and has hit .262/.346/.385, also collecting a handful of plate appearances in the big leagues. The well traveled 29-year-old played for several years in the Red Sox organization before playing in the Orioles, Braves and Blue Jays organizations in the past two seasons. He has a career .369 OBP at the Triple-A level.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Athletics Claim Dustin Garneau From Rockies]]> 2017-08-04T19:30:33Z 2017-08-04T19:07:35Z The Athletics announced on Friday that they’ve claimed catcher Dustin Garneau off waivers from the Rockies. Oakland already had a spot open on its 40-man roster, so no corresponding move is necessary.

    With Jonathan Lucroy now in Colorado following last Sunday’s trade, in addition to fellow catchers Tony Wolters and Tom Murphy, Garneau became a somewhat expendable piece for the Rox. The A’s, however, aren’t as well-stocked in terms of catching depth, with Bruce Maxwell, Josh Phegley (currently on the disabled list with an oblique strain) and Ryan Lavarnway currently representing their top options.

    Garneau, who’ll soon turn 30, has seen limited MLB action in each of the past three seasons — 76, 75, and then 74 plate appearances in each successive campaign. He owns a subpar .199/.259/.335 slash with four home runs in that span.

    That said, there could be more in the tank. Garneau has thrived over the past two years at Triple-A Albuquerque. Though it’s a noted hitter’s paradise, his numbers there stand out: through 355 plate appearances, he has knocked 25 long balls and a .962 OPS.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Fowler Expected To Compete For Opening Day Center Field Job In '18]]> 2017-08-03T03:02:56Z 2017-08-03T01:39:36Z
  • Though he won’t play again this season due to the freak knee injury he suffered in his MLB debut with the Yankees, Dustin Fowler is expected to compete for the Athletics’ Opening Day center field spot in 2018, writes John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. Manager Bob Melvin offered strong praise for the type of player he hopes to be getting in the 22-year-old Fowler. “He looks to be exactly the type of athlete we’re looking for,” said the skipper. “We need to get a little bit more athletic within our system. He’s a good start for that, and it looks like [Jorge] Mateo is as well.”  Both Fowler and Mateo were acquired (alongside righty James Kaprielian) in Monday’s Sonny Gray blockbuster.
  • ]]>
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Athletics Release John Axford]]> 2017-08-01T21:22:57Z 2017-08-01T21:22:57Z The A’s announced on Tuesday that they’ve released veteran righty John Axford. The former Brewers/Rockies/Indians closer was designated for assignment last week and is now a free agent.

    Axford, 34, signed a two-year, $10MM contract with Oakland prior to the 2016 season and had a respectable first year, logging a 3.97 ERA with 8.2 K/9, 4.1 BB/9 and a 54.2 percent ground-ball rate in 65 2/3 innings. That 4.1 BB/9 rate was his best mark since 2013, but his control once again took a step back in 2017. Through just 21 innings this year, Axford has issued 17 walks and also hit two batters. On the plus side, he’s also picked up 21 strikeouts, posted a 50 percent ground-ball rate and averaged 95 mph on his fastball.

    He’s earning $5.5MM this season in the second year of that contract, but any team that signs Axford will owe him just the pro-rated portion of the league minimum (for any time spent in the Majors). That amounts to about $181K through season’s end, and that number will continue to decrease with each passing day. Any money he is paid by his new team will be subtracted from what the A’s owe him for the rest of the year (~$1.86MM).

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Cardinals Floated Trade Proposal For Sonny Gray]]> 2017-08-01T18:28:52Z 2017-08-01T16:29:31Z The Cardinals “float[ed]” a trade proposal for Sonny Gray before the Athletics shipped him to the Yankees, according to MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal. In concept, at least, St. Louis would have considered sending young outfielder Stephen Piscotty to Oakland along with a promising starter (Luke Weaver or Jack Flaherty), though it seems talks never got going. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks closer at the Cards’ lack of action on deadline day. Top baseball decisionmaker John Mozeliak acknowledged “a level of frustration” that nothing got done, though he also said the team wasn’t inclined to make deals just for the sake of action. Ultimately, momentum never built toward a deal for Lance Lynn, and the club’s other chatter never materialized into a trade. You’ll want to peruse the lengthy column for all the details.

    Tim Dierkes <![CDATA[Yankees Acquire Sonny Gray]]> 2017-07-31T21:34:49Z 2017-07-31T20:35:21Z The Yankees pulled off a long-awaited rotation upgrade, acquiring righty Sonny Gray from the Athletics today for three prospects:  outfielder Dustin Fowler, infielder/outfielder Jorge Mateo, and righty James Kaprielian.  In addition to Gray, the Yankees will receive $1.5MM in international bonus pool money.  The teams have officially announced the trade, which was first broken by Jack Curry of the YES Network.  Yahoo’s Jeff Passan was first with the return.

    Gray joins a Yankees rotation that lost Michael Pineda to Tommy John surgery this month, but added Jaime Garcia in a trade with the Twins. With C.C. Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, and Jordan Montgomery also in the mix, the Yankees have a rotation logjam.  Yankees manager Joe Girardi nixed the idea of a six-man rotation, so it seems Montgomery will move to the bullpen or to Triple-A, according to Curry.  Sabathia and Garcia are headed to free agency after the season, and Tanaka can join them if he chooses to exercise his opt-out clause.  Gray adds veteran stability for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

    "JulGray, 27, was drafted 18th overall by the Athletics in 2011 out of Vanderbilt. He excelled from 2013-15, posting a 2.88 ERA over 491 innings. 2016, however, was a lost year for Gray as he endured DL stints for a strained right trapezius as well as a forearm injury. This year, Gray is back on track with a 3.43 ERA in 16 starts, as well as his best strikeout rate since his rookie year. Gray, who is listed at 5’10”, is one of the most successful starting pitchers of this height since the Dead Ball Era, to this point in his career.  With the Cubs having acquired Jose Quintana several weeks ago, Gray was the big prize of the 2017 MLB trade deadline.

    In the end, the Athletics were unable to pry loose the Yankees’ top three prospects: Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier, and Chance Adams.  Fowler, a 22-year-old outfield prospect, suffered a major knee injury in the first inning of his Major League debut last month.  The open rupture in his right patella tendon resulted in season-ending surgery. ranked Fowler fourth among Yankees prospects, citing a potential five-tool ceiling.  Now, Fowler will likely make his first MLB plate appearance in 2018 as a member of the Athletics.

    Mateo, 22, was ranked eighth among Yankees prospects by  Mateo has what Baseball America describes as “80-grade speed,” and this year he’s spent most of his time at center field and shortstop.  He was promoted to Double-A in late June, and has flourished with a .300/.381/.525 line in 140 plate appearances.  Mateo was the key to the deal for Oakland, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

    Kaprielian, 23, was drafted 16th overall out of UCLA by the Yankees in 2015.  He suffered a flexor tendon strain last summer that eventually led to Tommy John surgery in April of this year.  He is expected to begin a throwing program next month. ranks Kaprielian 12th among Yankees prospects.  Last winter, Baseball America wrote that the righty had “front-of-the-rotation makeup and stuff with a well below-average delivery.”

    Prior to adding Garcia and Gray to their rotation, the Yankees completed a mid-month blockbuster with the White Sox that brought in David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle for bullpen help and Todd Frazier to contribute at the infield corners.  The Yankees hold just a half game lead over the Red Sox for the AL East, with a Wild Card berth a possible alternative.

    The last-place A’s also shed a pair of bullpen pieces earlier this month, sending Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson to the Nationals. The Gray trade is another in which they’ve moved veteran pitchers (and their salaries, although Gray’s salary was not a primary factor in this deal) for younger talent.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Diamondbacks Acquire Adam Rosales]]> 2017-07-31T22:27:21Z 2017-07-31T20:21:10Z The Athletics announced that they have traded veteran infielder Adam Rosales to the Diamondbacks in exchange for minor league right-hander Jeferson Mejia.  The minor move coincides with the D’Backs placing shortstop Chris Owings on the 60-day DL due to yesterday’s fractured finger, according to Nick Piecoro of AZ Central.

    Rosales, who has played for the A’s in parts of five seasons, was a candidate to be designated for assignment as Chad Pinder approaches his return from a hamstring injury, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.  The 34-year-old Rosales is hitting .234/.273/.346 in 223 plate appearances for the A’s this year, appearing mainly at shortstop.  Arizona’s acquisition was likely influenced by a tragedy, as shortstop Ketel Marte left the team after the loss of his mother in a car accident.

    Mejia, a 22-year-old reliever who was recently demoted to short-season ball, has struggled with his control and posted a 5.90 ERA in 21 relief appearances this year.  The D’Backs acquired him from the Cubs in 2014 as part of the Miguel Montero deal.

    Tim Dierkes <![CDATA[Sonny Gray Trade Rumors: Deadline Day]]> 2017-07-31T18:58:53Z 2017-07-31T18:47:11Z With about one hour remaining until the trade deadline, all eyes are on Athletics ace Sonny Gray.  Gray comes with a 3.43 ERA on the season and club control through 2019.  The latest:

    • The Yankees’ dialogue continues on Gray, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports says the Yankees and A’s have had some movement on a trade, but aren’t quite there yet.  Mark Feinsand of feels Gray will either go to the Yankees or stay with the A’s.  There is a strong belief within the A’s organization that a Gray trade will get done, tweets’s Jane Lee.

    Read more

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Sonny Gray Trade Rumors: Sunday]]> 2017-07-30T23:21:03Z 2017-07-30T22:31:35Z Sonny Gray’s scheduled Sunday start has already been pushed back to Monday, and as of yesterday, the Yankees were widely rumored to be the favorite to land the Oakland ace. Generally, though, the state of play does not appear to have changed all that much much as of this afternoon. Still, there will be plenty of rumors on Gray flying around from this point forward, and we’ll track them all in this post…

    • Indications from this morning are that the Yankees remain focused on pursuing Gray rather than a rental arm, as Jon Heyman of Fan Rag writes. New York has added lefty Jaime Garcia from the Twins, of course, but that acquisition reportedly will not deter their pursuit of Gray — who’d likely bump Garcia to the pen if he’s added.
    • At this point, though, talks between the Yanks and A’s are at something of a stalemate, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. There are suggestions on both sides that the teams will stick to their valuations even with the pressure of the deadline. And that means there’s somewhat “less optimism” that there’ll be a deal sending Gray to the Bronx. Indeed, per Sherman, there hasn’t been much new dialogue of note between New York and Oakland over the last day.
    • Meanwhile, the Dodgers are still talking with the A’s about Gray,’s Jon Morosi tweets. But it’s also possible, he notes, that the ongoing dialogue is as much about maintaining leverage as it is due to serious, mutual interest.
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Twins, Yankees Moving Toward Jaime Garcia Trade]]> 2017-07-30T18:30:34Z 2017-07-30T12:10:08Z 7:10am: Talks between the Twins and Yankees are “at the 1-yard line,” tweets ESPN’s Buster Olney. The Yankees will continue to talk to the A’s about acquiring Gray as well even after the Garcia trade is finalized.

    12:53am: Yankees Double-A pitching prospect Zack Littell is part of the talks, tweets Jon Morosi of MLB Network. The Yankees scratched the righty from his start Saturday. ranks Littell as New York’s 22nd-best prospect.

    12:39am: The Yankees and Twins are “deep into discussions” on a trade that would send left-hander Jaime Garcia to New York, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). Acquiring Garcia would not take the Yankees out of the running for Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray, according to Passan. Reports on Saturday tabbed the Yankees as the favorites to land Gray.

    As is the case with Gray, the Yankees have come up in Garcia rumors throughout July. Garcia has already changed teams once this month, having gone from the Braves to the Twins this past Monday in a deal that netted Atlanta unheralded pitching prospect Huascar Ynoa. While the upstart Twins were buyers at the outset of the week, they’ve done a 180 thanks to a 1-5 skid since Monday that has dropped them to 50-52 – seven games out in an American League Central division they once led and four back in the wild-card race.

    The 31-year-old Garcia has made just one start with the Twins, a 6 2/3-inning, three-earned run effort in which he struck out seven and walked three in a win over the A’s on Friday. Garcia, an impending free agent who’s owed around $4.5MM through year’s end, has been effective all season, having logged a 4.29 ERA (4.04 FIP), 6.29 K/9, 3.31 BB/9 and a 55 percent ground-ball rate over 119 2/3 innings. He’d upgrade the back end of a Yankees rotation that has most recently relied on Caleb Smith, who has combined to throw seven subpar frames in two starts dating back to last Sunday, and join Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Jordan Montgomery to comprise their starting staff.

    Acquiring Gray on top of Garcia would create an extremely interesting conundrum for the Yankees, as it would give the team six capable starters and more than make up for the loss of Michael Pineda to Tommy John surgery. The least proven member of the group would be Montgomery, though the rookie has pitched at least as well as Garcia this year. It’s worth noting, however, that Montgomery has never thrown more than 139 1/3 innings in a season and has already amassed 108 this year. In an effort to tamp down his workload, then, perhaps he’d be a candidate to shift to a relief role. Jon Heyman of FanRag noted Saturday (on Twitter) that the Yankees “wouldn’t mind” picking up another southpaw for their bullpen, and the lefty Montgomery has limited same-sided hitters to a horrid .177/.236/.392 line this season.

    Regardless of how the Yankees’ rotation aligns going forward, it’s apparent that general manager Brian Cashman believes the club is a legitimate World Series contender. Cashman made a bold strike earlier this month in picking up two standout relievers – Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson – as well as third baseman Todd Frazier in a trade with the White Sox, and New York has awoken from an early summer slumber since then to regain first place in the American League East. Winners of six straight, the Yankees own a 56-46 record and a half-game advantage over the Red Sox in the division. The Yankees also boast the AL’s second-best run differential (plus-117), which suggests their record should be even better than it is.

    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Sonny Gray Rumors: Saturday]]> 2017-07-30T05:41:06Z 2017-07-30T03:39:28Z With two days left before the deadline, here’s the latest on the market for Athletics starter Sonny Gray, with the most recent updates at the top.

    • Gray to the Yankees is “somewhere between likely to inevitable,” according to Sherman, who reports that the trade could happen Sunday. An executive who has been involved in Gray talks told Sherman that the Yankees are “holding firm” in what they’re willing to offer because they’re not convinced there are any other serious bidders. In case their negotiations with the A’s collapse, the Yankees are discussing starters with other teams as fallback options, per Sherman.

    Earlier updates:

    • Neither the Astros nor Brewers are “serious players for Gray,” writes MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal, who adds that the Braves and Cubs also don’t look likely to acquire him. The Dodgers are the biggest threat to the Yankees in this sweepstakes, but Gray isn’t LA’s main focus, per Rosenthal. With that in mind, Rosenthal expects the Yankees to land Gray, though it might not happen until Monday. Gray to the Bronx makes sense, opines Rosenthal, who notes that the Yankees need answers in their rotation beyond this year (only Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery are locks to return in 2018) and want to get under the $197MM luxury-tax threshold next season. Acquiring the affordable Gray would help them on both fronts.
    • Heyman, Sherman, Bob Nightengale of USA Today and Buster Olney of ESPN (on Twitter) each report that the A’s and Yankees are making progress in Gray talks. There’s “optimism” a deal will happen, per Nightengale.
    • As expected, Oakland has pushed Gray’s next start from Sunday to Monday, reports Joe Stiglich of NBC Sports California (Twitter link).
    • The A’s talks centering on Gray have been heavier with the Yankees than any other team over the past 48 hours, per Morosi (Twitter link).
    • Gray will, in fact, skip his start tomorrow if he hasn’t been traded by then, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets. Bob Klapisch of USA Today previously tweeted that the A’s were likely to pull Gray from his scheduled start tomorrow due to requests from teams interested in trading for him.
    • The Yankees’ reluctance to part with Torres or Frazier is not currently holding up talks with the A’s about Gray, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweets. The two sides are currently discussing other players and still have not reached an agreement. In fact, Morosi tweets that the A’s prefer another Yankees prospect, Estevan Florial, to Frazier because of his center field defense.
    • Only after the A’s trade Gray will there be a flurry of activity surrounding other starters, Jon Morosi writes for Teams in the pitching market are primarily seeking multiyear assets like Gray rather than rentals, Morosi writes. That means there are more teams interested in Gray than in rentals like Yu Darvish or Lance Lynn.
    • The Brewers and Athletics have hit an impasse in their discussions about Gray, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets. The hangup, it seems, is that the A’s want top young outfielder Lewis Brinson, and the Brewers don’t want to trade him. Brinson arrived last winter in the Jonathan Lucroy deal and made his big-league debut last month.
    • The Yankees still have interest in Gray, but are now looking to rental options like Darvish, Lynn and Jaime Garcia, FanRag’s Jon Heyman writes. (A report earlier today also connected the Yankees to Dan Straily.) As was previously reported, the Yankees do not want to part with Gleyber Torres or Clint Frazier. Still, teams expect Gray to be traded before Sunday, when he’s scheduled to start.
    • The Yankees “might take” first baseman Yonder Alonso to help “facilitate” a Gray deal, but they aren’t currently focused on first base, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick writes (Twitter links). If the Athletics don’t reduce their price for Gray, the Yankees are prepared to look elsewhere. To state the obvious, Alonso is a terrific asset in his own right, and does not fit the profile of a player a team would take merely to facilitate a trade. The first baseman is batting .262/.360/.525 with 21 home runs this season.
    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Looking For A Match In A Yonder Alonso Trade]]> 2017-07-28T14:32:18Z 2017-07-28T14:20:24Z Yonder Alonso turned himself from non-tender candidate last winter to the Athletics’ representative at the All-Star Game two weeks ago.  Thanks in large part to an offseason swing change aimed to deliver more fly balls, Alonso is enjoying by far the best of his eight big league seasons.  The first baseman is batting .263/.361/.527 with 21 homers over 346 plate appearances, and is producing 38% more runs than the average hitter as per the wRC+ metric.  Beyond just putting the ball in the air more often, Alonso is also exhibiting more discipline at the plate, with a career-best 12.7% walk rate.

    It all adds up to a nice platform year for Alonso as he heads into free agency this winter, and the A’s gain an extra trade chip they perhaps didn’t expect to have when they decided to bring Alonso back on a one-year, $4MM contract for 2017.  With only about $1.31MM remaining on Alonso’s deal and his big numbers, he stands out among other remaining rental players as a particularly inexpensive lineup upgrade.

    Yonder AlonsoThe counter-argument for Alonso as a prime deadline pickup is that his numbers significantly cooled off in June and July after a torrid start to the season.  Since Alonso was little more than a league-average hitter from 2010-16, some teams could believe that he is simply a two-month wonder rather than a true breakout player.  He also carries pronounced splits (a .950 OPS against right-handed pitching against just a .685 OPS against southpaws). When that’s combined with Alonso’s subpar defense and baserunning stats, he doesn’t bring much to the table unless he can keep punishing righties.

    Another complication is the fact that most contenders are already set at first base or designated hitter, and that fairly thin list of potential Alonso suitors got a bit thinner when the Rays acquired Lucas Duda from the Mets.  Alonso has played a bit of third base and left field in his career, but would hardly be a passable option at either position.  With only one team reportedly showing legitimate interest in Alonso, Oakland might have to get a bit creative to find a trade partner and recoup a good prospect or two in return, unless an injury shakes up the market.  Here are a few of the potential fits…

    Yankees: This post really could be called “Looking For A Match In A Yonder Alonso Trade Besides The Yankees,” since the Bronx Bombers are Alonso’s only known suitors, and they’ve stood out for weeks as the most obvious candidates for his services.  New York and Oakland have been engaged in talks about not just Alonso, but also ace righty Sonny Gray, with recent reports suggesting that the Yankees could be trying to land both in a package deal.  First base has been a problem area all season long for the Yankees, with converted third baseman Chase Headley serving as the most recent option at first since Todd Frazier took over the everyday duties at the hot corner.  (Headley, a switch-hitter, has actually hit quite well over the last two months.) Alonso’s left-handed bat and his newfound ability to put the ball in the air would seemingly make him a perfect fit for Yankee Stadium’s short porch in right field, so New York has to be considered the leaders in the Alonso sweepstakes until proven otherwise.

    Mariners: Alonso would supplant Danny Valencia as the everyday first baseman, and the two in tandem would create quite a formidable platoon given that Valencia has always mashed left-handed pitching.  These sluggers were teammates in Oakland last season before Valencia was dealt to the Mariners, so clearly the M’s and A’s are open to trading with each other.  Seattle doesn’t have a particularly deep minor league system, though one can’t rule GM Jerry Dipoto out of any trade scenario.

    Red Sox: Mitch Moreland’s production has badly fallen off since suffering a broken toe, and Alonso could slot right into Moreland’s role as the regular first baseman (with Hanley Ramirez or perhaps rookie Sam Travis getting the odd start against lefty pitchers).  The Red Sox have been looking for ways to jumpstart a slumping offense, so Alonso would boost a lineup that has posted below-average numbers against right-handed pitching.

    Royals: Eric Hosmer is firmly entrenched at first base, so Kansas City might explore Alonso as an upgrade over left-handed hitting DH Brandon Moss, who has just a .696 overall OPS for the season and only a .623 OPS against righties.  Moss has been red-hot in July, however, so this may no longer be quite as pressing a need as it was just a few weeks ago.  The Royals have been mostly on the lookout for pitching help at the deadline, though they did have an interest in J.D. Martinez before he was dealt to Arizona.

    Astros: It’s hard to imagine that Houston’s lineup could actually get scarier, though DH Carlos Beltran is hitting just .234/.288/.405 and is on pace for a sub-replacement level season.  Alonso could add a left-handed hitting complement to righty bats Yuli Gurriel and Evan Gattis in the first base/DH mix.  Houston already has such an embarrassment of offensive riches that it might not be willing to give up much of a prospect return for what would be a pure luxury, especially when that prospect or prospects would be going to an AL West rival.  Then again, the Astros have also been linked to Sonny Gray, so they could also potentially look into a Gray/Alonso package deal.  GM Jeff Luhnow recently stated that the team is already looking ahead to potential needs for October, so if Luhnow feels the Astros need more left-handed balance in their lineup, Alonso could come onto their radar.

    Rockies: Despite a league-worst wRC+ (78) against right-handed pitching and an overall offense that ranks 24th of 30 teams in fWAR, Colorado is still solidly holding on an NL wild card slot.  Without a designated hitter spot available, however, the Rockies don’t really have room for Alonso — they’re already shuttling Ian Desmond between first base and left field, with Mark Reynolds and Gerardo Parra handling whatever position Desmond isn’t occupying.  Even if Carlos Gonzalez’s nightmarish 2017 season results in a loss of his everyday job, the Rox might turn to internal options — such as top prospect Ryan McMahon — before looking at a player like Alonso to help the lineup.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Sonny Gray Trade Rumors: Thursday]]> 2017-07-28T04:15:30Z 2017-07-28T04:11:07Z 11:03pm: Gray’s market is still in flux, with Jon Heyman of Fan Rag reporting that the Yankees are balking at the A’s requests for a package centered around Clint Frazier or Gleyber Torres. Even if Oakland checks down to some of the Yanks’ next tier of prospects, such as Estevan Florial, it seems that New York will remain reluctant to pull the trigger on Gray — though the club has seemingly focused on him to this point.

    In his own look at the market for Gray, Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network says the Astros and Brewers are “not significantly involved” at present. He notes, too, that the Padres’ interest may be more serious than has previously been thought.

    9:33am: Rosenthal now tweets that the Nationals are not, in fact, in on either Gray or Rangers ace Yu Darvish. Rather, the team might simply elect to pursue another reliever to further boost the back of the bullpen.

    12:00am: Earlier tonight, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that rival clubs believe that most teams have informed the Athletics which centerpieces they’re willing to part with in a potential trade for right-hander with Sonny Gray, adding that the Yankees are believed to be the front-runners. According to Sherman, many expect that the A’s will deal Gray before this Sunday’s scheduled start against the Twins.

    Though the Yankees are the perceived front-runner, Jon Morosi of tweets that both the Nationals and Mariners have some interest in Gray, though the extent of that interest isn’t clear. MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal writes that the Mariners and A’s haven’t touched base on Gray in about a week, though multiple rivals from around the game believe that ever-active GM Jerry Dipoto will find a way to make a competitive bid despite a thin farm system.

    Rosenthal outlines a speculative scenario in which the M’s could pair a big league outfielder with top prospect Kyle Lewis (among other pieces), then pivot to acquire a new corner outfielder in what is currently a buyers’ market for short-term corner bats. (Rosenthal’s column has multiple quotes on Dipoto’s whirlwind style of trading, including one unnamed exec opining: “I don’t think he’s burning [the farm system] to the ground. I think he knows it’s already on fire and is trying to do what he can with the assets he has.” It’s well worth a full look.)

    As for the Nats, Rosenthal reports that a deal could hinge on whether the Nats would part with prized prospect Victor Robles in a deal (Twitter links). Some in the Nationals’ organization now value fellow outfield prospect Juan Soto over Robles, though that hardly suggests that Washington has soured on Robles or given up on him in any way.

    Sherman suggests that one factor working in favor of the Yankees is that some believe the Astros to be the team most willing to roll the dice on Orioles’ closer Zach Britton, which could take some of their focus off Gray. Sherman notes that the Astros do still have some trepidation about the various red flags surrounding Britton this year (injuries, lack of appearances on consecutive days, etc.). Houston GM Jeff Luhnow again emphasized to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick today, however, that he doesn’t feel obligated to overpay for any addition given the team’s significant lead in the American League West. “We have a pretty good team, and if we can improve it without giving up too much of our future, we will,” said Luhnow.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Latest On Sonny Gray]]> 2017-07-28T03:32:39Z 2017-07-28T02:12:42Z
  • The Royals remain on the hunt for rotation help even after netting Trevor Cahill, Heyman writes. (That much may be evidenced by their apparent talks for Francisco Liriano, which are reportedly progressing.) Heyman notes that Kansas City even called the Athletics on Sonny Gray and the Rangers on Yu Darvish, though the team was realistic about the fact that it doesn’t have much of a chance of outbidding the competition for either player.
  • Brewers owner Mark Attanasio is more willing to part with top prospects in order to land Sonny Gray than his front office is, according to Heyman. General manager David Stearns and his staff are reluctant to part with the club’s very top prospects, and Attanasio has been deferring to the preferences of his baseball operations staff. The Athletics are eyeing center field prospect Lewis Brinson, Heyman continues, but it seems that the Brewers’ front office isn’t keen on parting with that level of talent.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[A’s Designate John Axford For Assignment]]> 2017-07-27T13:48:49Z 2017-07-27T13:42:10Z The Athletics announced that veteran right-hander John Axford has been designated for assignment as part of a series of roster moves. Catcher Ryan Lavarnway’s contract has been selected from Triple-A, and he’ll take Axford’s spot on the 40-man roster. Lavarnway will step into the 25-man roster spot of  fellow catcher Josh Phegley, who is headed to the 10-day DL with a strained left oblique muscle. Right-hander Ryan Dull, meanwhile, has been activated from the 10-day disabled list. The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser suggested last night that Axford could be designated for assignment to upon Dull’s return.

    The 34-year-old Axford posted solid results in the first season of a two-year, $10MM contract with the A’s in 2016, but his longstanding struggles with control have resurfaced in a significant manner in 2017. Axford has issued 17 walks in 21 innings this season, and he’s paired those control troubles with his highest home-run rate since 2013. He’s still averaged a strikeout per inning with a 50 percent ground-ball rate and an average fastball velocity of 95 mph, but his overall ERA rests at 6.43. ERA alternatives such as FIP (5.73), xFIP (5.31) and SIERA (5.17) don’t paint a much rosier picture for Axford’s work in 2017.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Gray Could Be Moved Before Next Start]]> 2017-07-27T02:32:37Z 2017-07-27T02:31:28Z There’s a belief among teams that most clubs have let the Athletics know which piece or pieces they’re comfortable parting with as headliners in a potential Sonny Gray trade, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Interested parties feel that one club will eventually separate itself before Gray’s scheduled start on Sunday, Sherman continues, adding that the current belief is that the Yankees have offered the best package thus far.’s Mark Feinsand reported yesterday that the Yankees were “making progress” in negotiations with the Athletics and added that New York has also discussed Yonder Alonso in those talks.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Jeff Samardzija Unlikely To Waive No-Trade Clause]]> 2017-07-27T01:11:44Z 2017-07-27T00:55:06Z Jeff Samardzija’s name has come up frequently in recent trade rumors, but the 32-year-old right-hander’s five-year, $90MM contract allows him to block trades to all but eight teams. Moreover, Samardzija tells Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that if approached by the Giants about a trade to one of the teams over which he has veto power, he wouldn’t be interested in waiving the clause.

    “I love being here,” said Samardzija shortly after praising the Giants’ core players and suggesting that the team fully believes it can turn the tide next season. Samardzija smiled yesterday when telling Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that he “[doesn’t] remember” the eight teams to which he can be traded without his approval (Twitter link), but Baggarly now reports the full list in a separate column.

    According to Baggarly, Samardzija can be traded to the Red Sox, Cubs, Mets, Yankees, Angels, Dodgers, Athletics and Nationals without his consent. All other teams — including the Astros, who have been the team most frequently connected to Samardzija on the rumor circuit — require Samardzija’s consent, and it doesn’t sound like he’s interested in green-lighting any proposals.

    Samardzija is owed $18MM annually and has struggled in the estimation of traditional metrics this season. He’s sporting a 5-11 record with a 4.85 ERA, but most other statistical means of evaluation are rather bullish on the righty. He’s averaging 9.7 K/9 against 1.1 BB/9, both of which would be the best marks of his career, and leading the Majors in K/BB ratio. His 43.3 percent ground-ball rate is only a tick below average, and he’s inducing more swings at pitches out of the strike zone than he ever has before. Samardzija’s fastball velocity has also held strong at an average of just over 94 mph, and he’s averaging nearly 6 2/3 innings per start. Metrics like FIP (3.49), xFIP (3.13) and SIERA (3.28 prior to today’s strong outing) all view him much more favorably than earned run average.

    Samardzija has struggled with men on base, in part due to the fact that he’s one of many pitchers throughout the league that has seen his HR/9 rate and HR/FB ratio spike as balls are leaving the yard at a higher rate than ever before in MLB history. And while his durability and K/BB numbers are impressive, some teams will no doubt express some skepticism that Samardzija would be able to better keep the ball in the yard by vacating the spacious AT&T Park as his home stadium. The remaining money on his contract also figures to be a concern to come clubs, as he represents a fairly sizable commitment to those that are near the luxury tax threshold.

    All of that sounds to be mostly a moot point anyhow. Among the teams to which Samardzija can be moved, the Red Sox don’t seem likely to pursue a starter, while the Mets and A’s aren’t contending. The Angels are a fringe contender at best and have luxury tax concerns, while the Nationals are said to be more focused on relievers and may shy away from the money remaining on his deal. It’s at least possible that one of the other teams listed shows some interest, but the Yankees are presently focused on Sonny Gray, while the Cubs have already added Jose Quintana and the Dodgers have been most heavily linked to Yu Darvish (to say nothing of the longstanding Dodgers/Giants division rivalry).

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yankees, Athletics Reportedly Discussing Sonny Gray, Yonder Alonso]]> 2017-07-26T14:33:47Z 2017-07-26T03:41:28Z 10:41pm: Slusser writes that the Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers, Brewers, Indians, Pirates and Royals all had scouts on hand to watch Gray’s start tonight. She adds that the Yankees “are making a strong push” for Gray but also calls the Astros “one of the frontrunners” for Gray despite their lack of a scouting presence at tonight’s game.

    Jon Heyman of Fan Rag, meanwhile, hears that the Brewers have “backed off” of talks after finding the asking price to be too steep. Likewise, the Braves are said to be “behind” the Yankees in their pursuit.

    Joel Sherman of the New York Post has further detail on some of the contenders for Gray’s services. The Brewers are amenable to considering prospects Corey Ray and Luis Ortiz in a package, though it hardly seems sure that both could be dangled for Gray. As for the Yankees, beyond the previously mentioned Florial and Mateo, it seems that youngsters such as Domingo Acevedo, Freicer Perez, and Albert Abreu could conceivably be in play.

    5:55pm: Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that the Yankees are “one of at least seven teams” that has scouts in attendance for Gray’s start tonight.

    5:42pm: Morosi tweets that Gray has begun his warmups and adds that “all signs point toward” Gray making his scheduled start tonight. Feinsand tweets that the same sources who indicated progress was being made also suggested that a deal is not likely to be completed tonight.

    5:30pm: The Yankees have been oft-connected to both Sonny Gray and Yonder Alonso, and’s Mark Feinsand now cites multiple sources in reporting that the Yankees are “making progress” toward a deal that could send both players to the Bronx. It’s worth noting that Gray is slated to start tonight’s game in Toronto and has yet to be scratched from that outing, so there’s no immediate indication that anything is imminent.

    New York’s need both in the rotation and at first base is readily apparent. The Yankees have already lost Michael Pineda to Tommy John surgery and will see CC Sabathia’s contract expire at season’s end. It’s also possible, depending on how he finishes out that year, that Masahiro Tanaka could opt out and land elsewhere. That’d leave the Yankees with Luis Severino, Jordan Montgomery and trio of vacant spots in the rotation, but adding Gray would fill one such void. The 27-year-old right-hander, who looks to be healthy after a triceps injury in 2016 and a lat strain earlier this year, is earning $3.575MM in 2017 and can be controlled via arbitration through the 2019 campaign.

    As for the team’s first base void, that’s been a noted flaw all season. Greg Bird hasn’t been able to get healthy and recently underwent ankle surgery, while Tyler Austin has been out for about a month with a hamstring strain. Chris Carter, signed to a one-year deal this winter, flopped and has since been released. The Yankees picked up 26-year-old rookie Garrett Cooper in a minor swap with the Brewers, but a platoon of Cooper and Chase Headley may not hold the same appeal as plugging Alonso into that spot. Then again, Headley has picked up his production at the plate considerably as of late. Alonso, a rental, is in the midst of a breakout campaign. He’s cooled at the plate recently but is still hitting a robust .264/.363/.535 with 21 homers despite a pitcher-friendly home park.

    Feinsand notes that colleague Jon Morosi reported the Athletics’ interest in center field prospect Estevan Florial earlier today and adds infield/outfield prospect Jorge Mateo could also be a part of talks. However, he also notes that one source deemed Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier, Chance Adams and Justus Sheffield as “close to untouchable” in GM Brian Cashman’s eyes.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Athletics Looking At Center Fielders In Trade For Sonny Gray]]> 2017-07-25T16:39:14Z 2017-07-25T16:39:14Z
  • The Nationals and Athletics are still engaged after completing one significant trade, per’s Jon Morosi. Whether A’s righty Sonny Gray could come up between the organizations isn’t yet clear, but there are now indications that the Nats are at least beginning to think about the possibility of pursuing a starter. The organization likely would do just that if it finds cause for significant concern with Stephen Strasburg, who just left his most recent start with forearm tightness. And it is worth bearing in mind that Washington will need another starter for 2018 with Joe Ross expected to miss the entire season after Tommy John surgery. But unless the Nationals find evidence of a larger problem for Strasburg, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post wrote yesterday, the club will probably keep its sights set on continuing to improve the bullpen. But a mounting list of injuries could perhaps force the organization to weigh alternatives even as it continues to pace the NL East by a hefty margin.
  • Youthful outfielders are the Athletics’ top priority in Gray talks, Morosi notes in the above post and a subsequent tweet. One prospect that has drawn their attention is Yankees youngster Estevan Florial, Morosi says, with’s Mark Feinsand noting on Twitter that New York is “not against including him in a trade package.” Of course, several other organizations rumored to have eyes for Gray also seem to have the types of young outfielders that would draw Oakland’s interest.
  • ]]>
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Latest On Sonny Gray]]> 2017-07-25T14:57:17Z 2017-07-25T06:32:31Z
  • The Brewers are “fading” in the race to acquire Athletics righty Sonny Gray, according to Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network (via Twitter). It’s not clear whether that’s owing to a change in Milwaukee’s position or the rise of an alternative suitor, but it’s obviously notable. The Brewers seem well-positioned to add a pitcher such as Gray, though perhaps other organizations have greater motivation to boost their near-term product. One such team is the Yankees, who believe they are better than their record, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. That view has helped spur the team’s deadline activity, including its effort to get a starter — with Gray perhaps representing the best fit.
  • ]]>
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mariners Could Pursue Sonny Gray]]> 2017-07-24T16:58:12Z 2017-07-24T16:58:12Z
  •’s Mark Feinsand writes that the Mariners could be considering a run at Sonny Gray. Though intradivision trades are rare, GM Jerry Dipoto has already made multiple trades within the division (including the Danny Valencia trade with Gray’s Athletics), Feinsand observes. (Additionally, A’s president Billy Beane has also dealt with division rivals more frequently than most presidents/GMs). One obstacle, of course, would be the Mariners’ farm system. Seattle has already dealt Tyler O’Neill to the Cardinals for Marco Gonzales, and the M’s acquired David Phelps for a four-prospect package headlined by well-regarded young outfielder Brayan Hernandez as well. Feinsand notes that Gray would very likely require the Mariners to part with top prospect Kyle Lewis, though there’d need to be additional prospects in any package, and it’s not clear if Seattle could cobble together a bid that would top the rest of the field.
  • ]]>
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On Yankees’ Search For Starting Pitching]]> 2017-07-23T19:02:44Z 2017-07-23T17:58:47Z The Yankees had a scout on hand to watch Rangers ace Yu Darvish’s eight-inning, 12-strikeout performance in Tampa Bay on Friday, leading to speculation that the Bombers have interest in the right-hander. That is indeed the case, per FanRag’s Jon Heyman, who reports that the Yankees have reached out to the Rangers about Darvish. They’ve also been in contact with the Athletics regarding righty Sonny Gray and the Braves concerning southpaw Jaime Garcia.

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    The connection to Gray isn’t anything new, as Heyman reported earlier this week that the Athletics have “named their price” for the 27-year-old in discussions with New York. The A’s want “top guys” in exchange for Gray, while the same applies to the Rangers if they’re going to trade Darvish, writes Heyman. Darvish is only a rental, whereas Gray’s controllable through 2019, but the former’s track record suggests he’d make the greater impact down the stretch. His presence would obviously benefit the Yankees, who hold a wild-card spot in the American League, but they’re not eager to part with the best prospects in their well-regarded system, relays Heyman, who suggests that outfielder Clint Frazier, infielder Gleyber Torres and lefty Justus Sheffield aren’t going anywhere. The Yankees “probably” won’t move righty James Kaprielian, either, tweets Heyman. It’s an open question, then, whether they’d be able to put together an appealing enough offer for the coveted Darvish.

    While Garcia would undoubtedly bring back the worst return among this trio, he’s nonetheless garnering plenty of interest. The 31-year-old impending free agent wouldn’t provide the Yankees with another front-of-the-rotation presence to complement No. 1 starter Luis Severino. However, Garcia would help make up for the loss of Michael Pineda, who underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery earlier this month, and give the team a credible back-end option to slot in behind Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Jordan Montgomery.